Roby: Alabama veterans are getting ‘worst health care service in this entire country’
WASHINGTON — Congresswoman Martha Roby took to the U.S. House floor Wednesday day to continue her push to give Veterans Affairs administrators the authority to come in and take over substandard VA facilities, after a year of revelations finding the agency has placed veterans on long wait lists for care.
“A workload report at the end of April showed that more than 6,500 consults over 90 days were still pending, including more than half awaiting approval for non-VA care,” Roby highlighted during the speech. Earlier this year a report found that VA medical centers in Montgomery and Tuskegee were the worst and second worst in the nation for excessive delays in veteran appointment completions.
“We got their attention last year,” Rep. Roby said. “A lot of nice promises were made in terms of the national VA’s commitment to improve Central Alabama. But, once our problems left the front page, there hasn’t been sufficient follow-up.
“Mr. Speaker, maybe that’s because we are depending on a broken bureaucracy to fix itself. Maybe it’s because we have been asking for VA leaders to intervene at this troubled system, rather than requiring them to. Maybe it’s time to change that.”
Earlier this year Rep. Roby announced her intentions of developing legislation that would give leadership in the VA the authority to come in and take over an ailing VA healthcare facility.
“When a public school continues to fail to meet basic standards, what happens?” Roby asked. “The state department of education steps in to takeover and takes charge of turning the place around. It is a process that isn’t pleasant, but everyone from principals and teachers to students and parents understand the consequences of failure to improve. I believe we need a similar mechanism at the VA.
“My constituents – my veterans – in Alabama are getting the worst health care service in this entire country, and they don’t deserve that.”